LED Facade Screens: Flashy, Exciting — and Potential Fire Hazards

They are popping up all over: Large LED video screens on the exterior walls of buildings display information, deliver advertising, and tell stories. This emerging worldwide trend in the facade design of contemporary buildings is exciting, but given the speed this technology has been adopted, potential fire hazards associated with the technology have not been widely addressed. 

“The high combustibility of polymeric materials in such systems may pose severe fire hazards to the built environment, bringing in significant life-safety issues and property loss during a fire incident,” says Frank Wang, senior fire protection engineer for ‎JENSEN HUGHES. “Therefore, it is essential to understand how the system performs in a fire environment and might pose threats to the built environment as well as to the occupants inside the building.”

To this end, Wang is involved in an extensive study of these facades. He will share some of the study findings for the first time during his presentation, “Encounter Media Facade: Performance-Based Fire Hazard Analysis of Exterior Video Cladding Wall,” at the SFPE 2018 12th International Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods Conference, April 23-27, 2018, in Honolulu, Oahu.

The study is new, in progress, and has not been released elsewhere.

Wang is bringing to the research more than 20 years of experience in fire protection industry and a specialty in smoke control system design and special inspection, mathematical fire and smoke modeling, and performance-based analysis.

“This presentation describes a study in progress that performs a fire hazard analysis of exterior LED video cladding walls,” Wang says. “The attendees will learn about system types, research methodology, evaluation criteria, analysis assumptions, as well as the preliminary outcomes, which clearly present that fire hazards brought by exterior video cladding wall could damage the associated built environment severely and pose significant threatening to building occupants.”

Not registered yet? The Early Bird registration discount of $150 off ends this Friday, March 16, 2018!

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